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Coronavirus: The threat to railway preservation

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15 minutes ago, Crisis Rail said:

 

I haven't been in the "City" - thankfully - being semi rural (lucky me) and in fact tend to avoid Cities if at all possible - I just think your thread has a post of mass media driven hysteria in general which the majority are a bit fed up of and could do without.

I disagree the original post was spot on - preserved railways need the older population to both act as operators and visitors - whether by themselves or bringing grandchildren.

 

For good reason people above 70 and anyone with underlying conditions are being asked to distance themselves from society a bit and it could stop the preserved lines in their tracks.

 

As has been mentioned the WSR has just spent a pretty decent sum of money getting itself back up to scratch, it needs a good season to get finances under control and this spring and summer now looks a write off.

 

If businesses can go to the wall because of Corona virus (Laura Ashley, FlyBe), airlines & airports are laying off staff and the railways are about to slash services to cut costs then why would preserved railways be immune from the impact.

 

Yes for most of us Covid19 is a nuisance, but if you're not in the best of health then it could be fatal or at the very least require a stay in hospital, the measures being taken are to try and manage the number of people infected at any one time so that the hospitals continue to cope.  The illness isn't imaginary, it is real, perhaps some people are reacting in an unfortunate manner but maybe they are actually scared and society is changing all around us very quickly at the moment.

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27 minutes ago, Crisis Rail said:

 

I haven't been in the "City" - thankfully - being semi rural (lucky me) and in fact tend to avoid Cities if at all possible - I just think your thread has a post of mass media driven hysteria in general which the majority are a bit fed up of and could do without.

I'm in Canada. We're shutting our international borders tomorrow. Our schools are shut. Anyone that can work from home is.

 

I strongly encourage you to read that Imperial University report.


The best outcome of this is that in a year we'll wonder what all the fuss was about - that means the measures worked.

 

The UK is late to the game though; you were slow to respond. The likely outcome is a tens if not hundreds of thousand of deaths and a critically overloaded healthcare system.

 

The worst outcome, do nothing, is 450,000 deaths.

 

So stop the "mass media" stuff - most of the media is currently relaying what Governments are planning for and are saying. 

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Business/commuting travel by train is well down, service cuts must follow.  Preserved lines will reduce or stop services too.

 

So far the GCR has cancelled the June Model Gala, postponed the Goods Gala, and is continuing scheduled services and smaller weekend events for the time being. We'll see what happens. 70+ aged staff/volunteers are asked to stand down.

 

The coal crisis has not been mentioned but has not gone away and will affect coal supplies in 2020-21 [see 'Steam Railway' and HRA for details].

 

Nova Scotian is right: the Henderson team report from Imperial is an excellent piece of research which forced the UK Govt to do a 180 degree turn over the weekend. And will save lives and probably the NHS.

 

Dava

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nova Scotian said:

I'm in Canada. We're shutting our international borders tomorrow. Our schools are shut. Anyone that can work from home is.

 

I strongly encourage you to read that Imperial University report.


The best outcome of this is that in a year we'll wonder what all the fuss was about - that means the measures worked.

 

The UK is late to the game though; you were slow to respond. The likely outcome is a tens if not hundreds of thousand of deaths and a critically overloaded healthcare system.

 

The worst outcome, do nothing, is 450,000 deaths.

 

So stop the "mass media" stuff - most of the media is currently relaying what Governments are planning for and are saying. 

 

Well for one I don't believe the Tory government one bit - it's been convenient over here today for firms to bury bad news Ashley and Carphone enough discussed on this thread and it's  depressingly glass half full  - i'm off to slash my wrists.

 

Time as ever  - will tell.

Edited by Crisis Rail
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Just now, Crisis Rail said:

 

Well for one I don't believe the Tory government one bit - it's been convenient over here today for firms to bury bad news Ashley and Carphone enough discussec on this thread and it's  depressingly glass half full  - i'm off to slash my wrists.

Errr, don't, please.

 

This does go beyond politics - at least in most places responding.

 

Be prepared. Stay calm. Build model railways :)

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Well I saw a GWR Prairie going some this evening, and bunker first.

It was on a low-loader mind you.

5526 has now left Chinnor, and was heading up the M40 at 6.30pm. Should be heading home to the SDR?

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7 hours ago, Boris said:

The NYMR is still planning to open on the 6th April and run its full timetable until Easter and see what happens from there.

 

I've put my name down to drive the locos we are taking to swanage and moors diesel galas but can't realistically see either of them happening unfortunately 

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2 hours ago, Crisis Rail said:

 

Well for one I don't believe the Tory government one bit - it's been convenient over here today for firms to bury bad news Ashley and Carphone enough discussed on this thread and it's  depressingly glass half full  - i'm off to slash my wrists.

 

Time as ever  - will tell.

I'm not sure if your user name is ironic, or very apt...!!! :scratchhead: :mosking:

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Given the likely duration of 'social distancing' needed to prevent the NHS collapsing under the strain, this summer season must surely be effectively written-off already, with earliest re-start being the santa season, and more likely next spring ......... effectively a year of hibernation for preserved railways (and a lot of other things).

 

If so, next to no income, and strenuous efforts to control expenditure, with the possibility of outfits that don't have sufficient reserves to fund unavoidable outgoings in the interim having to fold.

 

Whether people's habits will be changed in the long term, for instance people being even less willing/able to volunteer, is harder to guess. My gut feel is not, although perhaps some of the very oldest volunteers might decide that re-starting is just too much for them, largely because it is a social thing, and everyone will be desperate to socialise.

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A major issue is going to whether paid staff can be paid, if not then there could be some who do not return when things return to normality with consequential problems

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While there is a threat caused by Coronavirus, I suggest that there are a number of other issues

 

1. Skills

2. The 'standard of living' crisis as disposable income comes under pressure 

3. Increasingly elderly equipment

4. The rise in the retirement age and fewer people able to retire at 60 or younger on an occupational pension

 

Thats my opener for 10

 

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2 minutes ago, johnofwessex said:

While there is a threat caused by Coronavirus, I suggest that there are a number of other issues

 

1. Skills

2. The 'standard of living' crisis as disposable income comes under pressure 

3. Increasingly elderly equipment

4. The rise in the retirement age and fewer people able to retire at 60 or younger on an occupational pension

 

Thats my opener for 10

 

I don't think anyone's denying that those are important issues, but those are issues that are impacting progressively over a generation.  The problem with Coronavirus is that it could impact harder than all of those combined in perhaps just six months.

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I noticed unfortunately the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Diesel Gala is off next weekend. I was looking forward to seeing 55019 but we all understand the situation so needs must etc. Hopefully when the situation improves we all need to try our best to support these railways as otherwise they will have a big hole in their 2020 finances.

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2 hours ago, Davexoc said:

Well I saw a GWR Prairie going some this evening, and bunker first.

It was on a low-loader mind you.

5526 has now left Chinnor, and was heading up the M40 at 6.30pm. Should be heading home to the SDR?

It's going from East Anglian Railway Museum to I believe the Battlefield Line.

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8 hours ago, deltic17 said:

I noticed unfortunately the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Diesel Gala is off next weekend. I was looking forward to seeing 55019 but we all understand the situation so needs must etc. Hopefully when the situation improves we all need to try our best to support these railways as otherwise they will have a big hole in their 2020 finances.

 

I saw elsewhere that the Chinnor volunteers manning the railways 'phones have received death threats as a result of the cancellation of the diesel gala. Appalling.

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It’s all about  cash flow. If your business  runs out of cash then you go bust. One thing going for heritage railways as opposed to “normal” businesses is that when they are in trouble we tend to make donations to bail them out so it’s not all doom and gloom. When will things get back to normal is a much bigger issue now. It seems at least three months for the crisis but it could well be a whole lot longer before we can get back to normal. It may be that things don’t go back to full on until there is a good supply of inoculations.

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18 hours ago, Boris said:

The NYMR is still planning to open on the 6th April and run its full timetable until Easter and see what happens from there.

That sounds irresponsible. Even if open anyone with sense and responsibility will stay away.

 

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19 hours ago, guzzler17 said:

 

No announcements yet regarding the Swanage and SVR diesel galas.

 

Posts on WNXX for Swanage and SVR now (08.00, 18/03) saying 'postponed' for both events, which suggests a later date will be sought, better than 'cancelled', fingers crossed.

 

all the best,

 

Keith

 

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Press release from SDR:

 

It is with great regret that the South Devon Railway (SDR) has chosen to suspend ALL train services with immediate effect from 17th March until Saturday 16th May.

This decision is a direct result of the ongoing Coronavirus issue and follows the latest Government health advice in restricting people’s movements and gatherings.

In the light of our need to protect our visitors and staff from risk, plus a steep decline in visitors since last weekend and the railway’s costs in running now empty trains, the SDR had no choice but temporary closure.

This includes all special events, dining trains and Drive-a-Train Experience days in that period. Those customers with pre-bookings affected by this will be contacted by the SDR over the next few days.

We apologise for the disappointment this will doubtless cause to our many supporters, friends, locals and visitors alike, and we appreciate people’s understanding of the position we face.

The SDR has a contingency plan that it has been following throughout the development of the Coronavirus issue and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

All future SDR events and running will be reviewed in light of developments and continuing
medical advice. Please keep an eye on the SDR website and social media feeds for more information and updates.

The SDR Board and management will continue to monitor and follow the advice provided by the Government and Public Health England to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff.
The Prime Minister’s statement on 16 March was very clear: everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres, and avoid non-essential travel.

In view of this we have taken the reluctant decision to suspend operations until the situation
improves but will obviously review the position frequently and will re-open when it is safe and
responsible to do so.

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1 hour ago, tractionman said:

 

Posts on WNXX for Swanage and SVR now (08.00, 18/03) saying 'postponed' for both events, which suggests a later date will be sought, better than 'cancelled', fingers crossed.

 

all the best,

 

Keith

 

 

Trouble is when a gala has visiting locos it's not that easy to postpone and reinstate at short notice as locos are often booked elsewhere at later dates 

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Beamish and the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland have now announced that they are closed for the foreseeable future.

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I was booked on the SVR spring gala.  They've sent a heartfelt note offering refunds and transfers to a different event.  Personally, I'm not going to take them up on the offer but suggest they keep my money as a donation.

 

David

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